#Heistuesday 12: Saving The World with Video Games

Hi all,

We’re extra proud of today’s #Heistuesday, as the robots in SteamWorld Heist step up to fight HIV and AIDS.

…say what? Let’s explain: here in wintry Sweden, there’s an annual charity initiative called Musikhjälpen (“The Music Aid”) hosted by the Swedish public TV and radio broadcast service. It’s quite clever; a few famous musicians and TV & radio personalities shack up for 144 hours straight in a glass cage (quite spacious, mind you). Into this cage they invite musical artists to perform, as well as regular people and companies that come up with ideas on how to raise money for a fixed cause.

The main means for this fundraiser is having people call in and wish songs to be played throughout the event. Every song comes with a small fee, which is added to the total funds. This year, the cause was the battle against HIV and AIDS, with Mozambique as the targeted recipient for the efforts.

Musikhjalpen_2013_Glasburen

Last year’s event, in that most beautiful of cities: Gothenburg.

The event was a great success: they raised some 30 million Swedish Krona (SEK), which translates into roughly 3 million Euro, or 4 million US dollars. Musikhjälpen also teams up with Tradera, an auction site where all kinds of things and services are offered in the name of the cause.

And this is where Image & Form came in: we auctioned off a day of collaboration on SteamWorld Heist, where the highest bidder will help us shape steambot imagery that’ll appear somewhere in the game. Of course I’m delighted – HIV/AIDS isn’t a thing of the past. The spotlight has come and gone, but the need is as grave as ever. Last year 4,000 people died every day from AIDS, and the disease has claimed 36 million lives to date. It has to stop.

The auction turned into a dramatic bid fest that lasted until the very last minute of the auction. The winning bid came from Varberg, Sweden – not that far from Gothenburg, actually! It turned out that the bid is an elaborate Christmas present, so we cannot reveal the name of the winner yet.

Once Christmas Eve has come and gone, we’ll announce and welcome the winner to the office for a traditional 3 o’clock coffee with a brainstorming session to follow. We’ll make sure to show you how the lucky person’s steambot eventually turns out.

Question: If it were you, what would your steambot look like?